Perhaps the most effective marketing methodology you’ve ever seen produces more leads at a dramatically lower cost
Dear Business Owner and Friend.
Have you noticed that getting customers into your business for the first time is much harder than it used to be? Don’t worry, you’re not imagining things - and you’re not alone.
And while I’d like to say that its not your fault either – I’m not sure I can let you off the hook that easily. You see, as business owners we’re all responsible for keeping up with the changes in EVERYTHING that affects our business. This includes legal and regulatory issues, fair trade requirements, taxation and a whole lot more. Oh yeah – in the midst of all these other changes you need to stay on top of, you need to be in front of the changes in marketing too, unless you want to get left behind.
For the last several years, in survey after survey, consumers have told us they’re fed up with the way we’ve been trying to sell to them. Clearly these consumers have found ways to fight back too.
- If you’re in the phone book…too bad – 80% of homes throw theirs away or recycle it the day it is delivered
- If you generate business by cold calling… you know about the do-not call list
- If you advertise on TV… a majority of us now use DVR’s to record our favorite shows which also allows us to skip the ads you’re paying for
- If you’re promoting your business on the radio… you have to compete with CD’s, Mp3′s, streaming content from Pandora, commercial-free satellite radio or talking on the phone. Simply put, they’re not listening to your ad
The bottom line on all of this is that consumers are tired of us beating them over the head with our marketing, interrupting them and spamming them to get their attention.
Now check where you’ve been spending your advertising budget. If any of those I’ve listed above are in your stable, you’re stepping up to the plate with two outs and down two strikes.
So what kind of marketing is still acceptable to your prospective audience? What can we do to promote our business in a way thats useful, and welcomed by people who are in need of the products and services we sell? Its called Inbound Marketing.
Inbound Marketing – What’s That?
Inbound marketing is by definition useful to your audience because it involves your business providing exceptional content, information and service to prospective buyers – instead of interrupting them with messages they’re not actively looking to receive.
In addition to being more effective, Inbound Marketing is less expensive. In fact studies show that companies using inbound marketing tactics enjoy a 62% lower cost per lead than their competitors who still use outbound marketing tactics.
What makes inbound marketing work?
Imagine your sales and marketing process as if it were a funnel. Fresh prospects coming in from the top, going through and eventually coming out the bottom of the funnel as new customers. This is the first, critical element of inbound marketing.
Would you agree that as a business owner, your most important job is to increase the number of people you attract into your funnel as website visitors and the number who come out the bottom as customers? Businesses who use inbound marketing do this in three (simple) steps.
Get Found: Inbound marketing firms often use tactics like blogging, social media and SEO to attract quality prospects to visit your website.
Convert: Deploying landing pages and email follow-up, also known as lead nurturing or core elements of inbound marketing. Lead nurturing’s primary purpose is to convert website visitors into leads and in time, long-term customers.
Analyze: Monitoring what’s happening so that you can improve the efficiency of the entire inbound marketing process – allowing you to get more of your ideal prospects in the top and out the bottom of your funnel.
Let’s look a bit closer at these inbound marketing tactics…
When it comes to ‘getting found’, we’re talking about anything and everything you do to attract visitors to your website (the top of your funnel). Its incredibly important that you do this because without website visitors there’s no lead generation. Some important tactics to help you get found include:
Blogging – Virtually any sound inbound marketing plan starts with blogging, because a blog is a powerful way to attract people to visit your website. In fact, according to HubSpot, companies that blog get 55% more leads that companies that don’t. Blogging is all about creating content that attracts visitors.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Over 90% of consumer begin the process of buying things by going online, usually to a search engine. Over 90% of all click throughs from the search engine to a website go to those businesses listed in the first 10 results. This is why there’s so much hype about being on ‘page one of Google’. To get on page one starts with picking the right keywords, optimizing your site’s pages, creating exceptional content and building backlinks to your pages.
Social Media – One way people spend time online is to interact with their friends in a social media environment. Its there that people ask questions, answer questions, share information, videos or other content and discuss things. Businesses today should want their content to be part of any discussions that involve your industry. When your content is part of these discussions, you have a better chance of getting people to visit your site and into the top of your sales funnel.
Content Marketing – This is a more advanced way of getting found, but is similar to blogging in that you’re creating content to attract people to visit your site. What’s different than blogging is that this content is not limited to the blog ‘channel’. Common types of content marketing tactics include writing whitepapers and e-Books, producing videos and even things like webinars.
Now you’ve created some content, its time to convert your website visitors into paying customers. Many people generate a lot of traffic to their sites but when they ignore convert tactics, they fail to sell anything. Some common ways of converting include:
Using Calls to Action – How do you get a new website visitor to take a step forward and enter your sales funnel? You ask them to take action, hence the ‘call to action’ idea. Maybe its to download a whitepaper or e-Book or register for one of your webinars. Calls to action are usually accessed through buttons or links in the post or page. If you don’t have enough calls to action or they’re ineffective, you won’t generate any leads.
Landing Pages – When your website visitor clicks your call to action link or button, they should end up on a landing page. The landing page explains the details of what was offered and provides an exchange of their contact information for your content. The info they provide you becomes a lead that gets passed to your sales department so they can begin a conversation with the prospect.
Email Marketing – Some of the people who visit your site, click your call to action and fills out a landing page form are not yet ‘sales ready’. It’s important that this visitor is important to you in the future and so you want to begin nurturing a relationship with them. Email marketing makes it easy to create a series of emails built around the product or service you offer but are relevant and high value. Lead nurturing through email is helpful in building trust with a prospect and helps them get closer to buying from your company.
The third part of inbound marketing for discussion here is Analysis. Once you start attracting visitors to your site with your blog, social media and SEO efforts and begin converting into leads and customers, you’ll also want to monitor and analyze your sales process to find ways to make it work even better.
There are a handful of key metrics that you want to keep an eye on in your inbound marketing campaigns, including:
- Website visitors – How many people are visiting your site each day
- Leads – How many of your site visitors did something (e.g.: filling out your form) to identify themselves and become leads
- Customers – How many sales did you make? This is the goal right?
- Conversion rates – What percentage of people convert from visiting your site to become leads? What percentage of leads did you sell? Critical numbers to keep in mind
There are others of course but I think you get the picture. Having this kind of measuring stick in place allows you to set and track specific goals for business growth. And isn’t that the point? To grow?!?
So how can you use this info to improve your business? Is inbound marketing right for you? Florida Inbound Marketing specializes in creating and implementing full service, turnkey inbound marketing programs for businesses or can work with you to ‘share the responsibilities’ with your team to create your updated marketing.
If you’re not sure which works best for you – then perhaps the best thing we can do is talk it over. When you click the button below we’ll schedule 30 minutes to an hour to discuss your business, its goals and your current marketing methods and answer your questions about how inbound marketing might do a better job. There is no cost, nor is there any obligation for you to hire us at the conclusion of the call. With nothing ventured, nothing can be gained so…When Can We Talk?